IIT-D Develops India’s First Braille Laptop for Visually Impaired Persons

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The product will be manufactured, maintained and marketed by a Noida-based company. Its key component will be manufactured by a company based in Chennai.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-D) Delhi on Wednesday launched the country’s first Braille Laptop for the visually impaired community.

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The laptop, dubbed DotBook, comes in two variants – DotBook 20P:20-Cell Braille variant with Perkins keys and DotBook 40Q:40-Cell Braille variant with QWERTY keyboard.

The affordable laptop, exclusively created for the differently abled, also has a refreshable Braille display.

Professor M Balakrishnan, who led the project, said that the laptop has been built using IIT Delhi’s patented Shape Memory Alloy technology.

The refreshable braille devices presently available in the market cost around Rs 1 lakh.  Professor M Balakrishnan said that DotBook will bring down the cost by almost 60 per cent.

“This becomes very significant as low-income countries contribute to over 90 per cent of the world’s visually impaired population,” he said.

DotBook’s Key Features

The Professor added that they created the DotBook with the vision to enable visually impaired persons to compete and succeed independently in an office or educational environment.

The laptop comes packed with all the applications and features that a visually impaired user would need to independently carry out their tasks with ease.

These features include email, calculator, web browser and QWERTY keyboard.

DotBook is a result of over four years sustained efforts by a multi-organizational team comprising academics, two industry partners and a user organisation, Professor M Balakrishnan said.

The product will be manufactured, maintained and marketed by a Noida-based company while its key component, that is the 10-cell refreshable Braille cell modules, will be manufactured, maintained and marketed by a company based in Chennai.

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